27 arrested in Roswell poker raid

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#1

Couldn't resist pointing out this news story.

See the link below.


Speaking of games, did we ever make a list of

all the 2010 proponents on this site who were

convinced the games wouldn't go over budget,

force people out of their homes, and generally

be a big pain in the ass (and wallet) for the

entire Lower Mainland? Cuz they've got some

crow to eat.

Looks like Roswell has a demand for large poker games, but now no where to play... Opportunity calls.

hey, anything that gets a few more crows off the streets is a good thing.

emd By emd

Well, they haven't been a pain in the ass to me, nor forced me out of my home, so please don't

speak on my behalf.

Have patience emd. The bills haven't come in yet.

So he's supposed to wait til March 2010 to speak on his on behalf...you hold the rights on speaking for all of the Lower Mainland until then....seriously though, putting aside the five star troll factor in your statement, I can't believe you are still spouting off this rhetoric. Still no hard facts in hand on the actual budgets/revenues/costs from your end and yet you state as fact that it's gonna cost us.


So far the only things that have been a pain in the ass related to the olympics (aside from you nattering nabobs of negativity) are the RAV construction and the S2S construction. Both of which everyone has noted would likely have happened sometime regardless of the olympics so the pain would have been borne out at sometime anyway.


To me the main negative of the olympics is that it has helped drive up labor costs across the board. And now that I am working in a quasi-regulated industry it wrecks havoc on our HR department and our ability to pay employees what they demand AND still make a profit at the currently 'regulated' rates. I am guessing that as a labor guy you are cheering this result.

VANOC last report at end of 2006 states they are on track and on budget....simple google to the VANOC info/propaganda. At least argue with 'facts' Stump. (although I trust their reporting more than you I am still sceptical because I know how easy it is to defer expenses and reporting bad news, but the financial statments presented are pretty transparent.)

On track I'll give them, but on budget I'd give them only with a big caveat. Namely, that they're only on budget because they've increased the budget.


Granted, the increase was partly (but only partly) to express the total in 2010 dollars as opposed to 2002 dollars as they used in their initial budgeting and proposals. Seriously, though, does that not smack of deliberately misleading the public? Don't you think they'd have known better than to express things in current dollars for an 8 year project?


Another reason they may be on budget (though this is strictly my memory, so I may be inaccurate with this one) is that they've shifted some line items out of the Olympics budget and into provincial and municipal budgets.

From the VANOC website:


"Vancouver 2010 confirmed that the 2010 Games’ venue budget is now estimated at $580 million or 23 per cent more than the $470 million venue construction estimate contained in the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation’s 2002 submission to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)."

A story in today's Vancouver Sun also touches on the issue of the Olympic budget fiasco. Linked below

Stump,


Way to pick and choose what you cut and paste re:'23 per cent more than the $470 million '


The increase was from within the contingency included in the original budgets so was not actually 'new' money.


In addition, for Gin-Boh and you - the original submission to the IOC required that they not include inflationary figures. This is not just a way to make the numbers look better but a way to level the playing field for developing countries (ie. higher inflation economies) and allow for an apples to apples comparisons of the bids...to easy to skew the results if you pick agressive inflation targets.


AS to the budget fiasco - it's the nub of many of the arguments on the board - what does and doesn't get included in the list of Olympic expenditures....


I am of the belief that both the RAV line and the S2S highway would have been done within the next 10 years regardless of the Olympics so to me those are not Olympic expenditures. Even then - if you told me we could get the RAV line and the S2S highway - and a load of new sports venues, social housing (athletes village after conversion) and all of the other benefits that the Olympics provide without running the Olympics for only $2.5 Billion I'd be questioning your sanity. Given the fact that the Millenium line was a $2B+ project itself...I'd guess we're gettting a reasonable deal...that is if you want to bring the infrastructure projects into the argument....your choice.

"I am of the belief that both the RAV line and the S2S highway would have been done within

the next 10 years regardless of the Olympics so to me those are not Olympic expenditures"


Then why must they be completed by 2010 and don't spare the semolians?


Why do we need a speed-skating oval, luge run, bobsled run, ski jumps etc? Useless white

elephants after the Games are gone. The housing component (here and in Whistler) has been

gutted by cost-cutting. The RAV is the wrong project at the wrong time in a questionable

location with questionable technology and the Sea to Sky Highway is an absolutely idiotic

investment in a time when every right-thinking government is trying to find a way to

encourage less car use, not more. Especially when there's an under-utilized rail link running

right beside it.


The economic benefits and spin-offs are also highly suspect too. (one criticism linked below).


In short, I think taxpayers are funding a two-week party for an elite group of athletes and the

only people who are benefiting are those athletes (already a drain on the public purse), multi-

national corporations (no need for charity there) and the well-connected individuals now

lapping at the trough as part of VANOC and its tentacles.


Those billion$ would have been better spent addressing our need for energy and food self-

sufficiency and the like. Those kind of projects WOULD be of lasting benefit to us all.

Not to mention that taxpayers across the province are coughing up for this, but what do you reckon the chances are that someone living in Kamloops or Prince George are going to reap the benefits?


*pokes the bear*

At least the hundreds of lugers and bobsledders around the world will have a new place to

practice however. Not to mention all those recreational ski-jumpers. Let's not forget the

explosive popularity of biathlon is sure to bring plenty of well-heeled tourists to our region.

Billions of dollars to find out who are the slidy-est white folk on the planet. Money well spent.


Remember how losing the Indy race was going to be an economic disaster? And yet, life goes

on.


See the tax dollars. See the tax dollars trickle upwards. Trickle tax dollars, trickle.

I don't understand why you still live in this city when all you do is bitch and moan about everything that's wrong with it, the prov, and life in general.


I agree there is/will be waste with the olympics and money *could* be better spent elsewhere. but it's not like money for the olympics was set aside in a pile labeled 'some sort of project for vancouver/bc'. it would have just been doled out everywhere for whatever. i'll take all the bs and get a new subway that will get me to work without my car in a timely fashion, investments in new techs like the biomass for the olympic village, etc...

"I don't understand why you still live in this city when all you do is bitch and moan about

everything that's wrong with it, the prov, and life in general."


It's because I love this city and its amazing public spaces that I hate to see it sold off bit by

bit to the highest bidder and turned into a plastic fantasyland and playground for the rich.


As for bitching and moaning, that would be what I was doing, if I didn't provide the reasons

and rationale behind my criticisms. What I'm doing might be termed dissent. You should be

thanking the shit-disturbers, they are the ones who make real progress happen. Do you think

the subway would be even going in without people calling for improvements to the

transportation infrastructure? You'd be getting more lanes and more smog and more of the

same-old, same-old if it weren't for rabble-rousers.


Other than that, where am I complaining about life in general? My life is grand thank you

very much.

"Then why must they be completed by 2010 and don't spare the semolians? " - reread the line you quoted - I expected those to be costs regardless ofthe olympics in the next 10 years - 2010 is within the 10 year timeframe...unless math is tougher than I thought. But I will agree that their schedule was pushed up to meet a new deadline brought on by the olympics - good news if you are a richmond commuter or the person who would have died on the highway if not for the improvements.


Did I mention the luge/bobsled etc... no - those will likely be deconstructed after the olympics. The addition of a new cross country ski area in the whistler area will be used - the cros country ski community is quite active, healthy and goes to the hospital alot less than the people sitting at home watching reruns of Gilligans island - it's an accessible, low impact, high energy sport for young and old - we should be promoting it. New venues provide another avenue to introduce people to the sport and that in general is good for our health and well being which should reduce other costs.(noting no facts at my hand to back up this argument, but you are unlikely to argue against more physical activity are you.) Now were the olympics necessary to get this built, no - but it wouldn't have happened anytime soon otherwise given the work and cost required. Not all of the venues are slated to stick around - most will be turned into something else or sold off (reducing the net cost).


RAV vs. other choices - we've argued this before. At the end of the day a high-speed transit link from Richmond/airport to the downtown ia a good investment - it's actual form and final cost are arguable, but getting a subsidized version (ie. Fed dollars and a 'net' cost of $2.5B for all projects including the RAV line) makes the project much more pallatable than many of the alternatives. Also, it hasn't held up any other major projects (Sullivans Densification, Gateway, NE line going ahead a little slower, but it already has one rail link).


S2S highway - vs rail -another old argument - I agree in general to your point that rail should be pushed as the main alternative, but you have to provide a complete solution that starts with changing attitudes, cost structures etc... and ends with a viable rail option that is flexible(ie. multi runs per day), fast, inexpensive (ie. less costly than auto to offset the flexibility benefit) and safe (or safer than auto). That to me is a generational timeframe to change so in the interim we need to get the road we have safer and able to handle the increased traffic loads that an increasing population base will force upon the road.


Your vision of what the olypmics actually represents is skewed by your perspective in general. If you look for the good in the games you will find it (glass half full) if you want to find the bad in the olympics you can (glass half full of piss).


I don't bother bringing up all the waste in government that I see that is attributable to expanding what I see as an already bloated safety net. I know it won't make me any friends here or in real life....so I STFU and pay my taxes knowing in general that I will be better off tomorrow than today and that my taxes go to enough good uses to make me not go insane.


I'm not sure if you're implying 'progress' only comes from those who dissent or that given unlimited power those in power would automatically choose to ignore all other options but the car...or something i'm missing?


Anyway, i'm not starting another debate with you. it's a non-starter since you're unwilling to compromise in the slightest on your self-proclaimed moral authority--It's just a shame you're so jaded and negative.

"Your vision of what the olypmics actually represents is skewed by your perspective in

general."


Hmm, I though it was skewed by the fact that almost all Olympic Games end up costing far

more than budgeted and deliver fewer benefits than promised.


"It's just a shame you're so jaded and negative."


I'm a little jaded. But not particularly negative. I'm implying that dissent (the squeaky wheel)

is what makes things happen more so than slavish obedience to whatever our leaders happen

to believe.


"it's a non-starter since you're unwilling to compromise in the slightest on your self-

proclaimed moral authority"


I haven't proclaimed anything. I don't even know what you mean by this statement.

"At the end of the day a high-speed transit link from Richmond/airport to the downtown ia a

good investment"


I strongly believe fixed links are not necessarily a good investment. I prefer the flexibility of

buses and trolleys that can switched to other routes if demographic projections don't work out as

expected. They are also much cheaper, so we don't necessarly need "Federal" money (it's all our

tax dollars in the end). Further, if we get federal funding for this, you can expect the money

simply comes out of another area in the budget.


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go rent a car. :-)


Damn I was doing so well in ignoring this thread. I'll hit and run:


"I strongly believe fixed links are not necessarily a good investment. I prefer the flexibility of

buses and trolleys that can switched to other routes if demographic projections don't work out

as

expected. "


Stump has a valid point. Perhaps one or more of Vancouver, Richmond, and

YVR will move in the next few decades.


I happen to think we're damned lucky that the crazy gamble of building bridges between

these

areas worked out.


re:"I strongly believe fixed links are not necessarily a good investment"


Okee dokee - I thought you were train/bike boy....Even without putting thoughts into your head, I would have thought on pure logic that fixed links as back bones to the transit system make perfect sense. I see the two anchor points - downtown and the airport - as not likely to ever move. The station points along the way are fully in residential areas and as we have seen from the previous train lines, density (another good thing) starts to increase in and around the stations. It really does become a build it and they will, rezone and then, come.


As to the source of the funds - like I said there are bigger black holes in goverment (starts with a 'g' ends with an 'n registry', starts with a 'Heritage' ends with a referendum etc.....as an aside I wonder how many billions of dollars will go to 'environmental' projects (the new holy grail of electiontime canada) in the next five years that waste more energy and kill more trees printing pamphelets about how great they are than any environmental gain they will produce). And as a have province our funds have been funnelled to Bombardier and the fishing fleets for long enough to build a bridge to PEI from Victoria I think it is about time for us to get some in return. Is any of it good usage, no - but better some than none.

"Stump has a valid point. Perhaps one or more of Vancouver, Richmond, and YVR will move

in the next few decades."


Well, one big quake and all bets are off, but what I mean is simply that jobs are no longer

necessarily downtown, and people no longer necessarily live in the 'burbs. This trend may or

may not continue. The sensible parts of the Gateway project are a response to this trend. The

places are unlikely to move, but people most certainly are, esp. as many employers seek the

lower land costs of outlying areas.


Transportation is essentially another form of communications, (IMO) and is better handled in

a modular fashion rather than sending everything down one big pipe, in much the same way a

private phone line is more flexible than a party line (Wow, I think I just dated myself

bigtime... do party lines even exist anymore?)


When snow shuts down Skytrain, it screws up the whole system. When snow hits the streets

buses can be re-routed to avoid problem spots. Substitute accidents, suicide attempts, or

mechanical breakdowns if you like, the same theory applies.

"Okee dokee - I thought you were train/bike boy"


Trains are a great solution for inter-city travel. Subways are fine too, don't get me wrong, but I

think that our first priority should be addressing overcrowding on the transit system... and that

means more buses now and cheaper solutions before expensive ones.

"As to the source of the funds - like I said there are bigger black holes in goverment"


And there's an old saying about throwing good money after bad too. Using one boondoggle to

justify another makes no sense.

"I happen to think we're damned lucky that the crazy gamble of building bridges between these

areas worked out."


How many different forms of transportation can use a bridge? How many can use a Skytrain

line?


"I haven't proclaimed anything. I don't even know what you mean by this statement"


a reference to previous discussions re: cycling, nothing serious

I'm going to totally 1000000% agree with stump here:



"I think that our first priority should be addressing overcrowding on the transit system..."



We totally should have WAY more cars. There's far too many people on the empty busses I ride. Like sometimes there's even 2 or 3 people on my bus. It's crazy. If even half of those got into a car, then I'd have the bus to myself some of the time. And some of those crazy busses are actually almost FULL! Can you imagine? I hear one of them goes up and down this road called "Granville". And those crazy translink guys are putting the new skytrain on Cambie! Have you ever heard anything so stupid? Even *I* who is not a city planner can tell you that those are 2 completely different streets!




I'm also maybe even a billion times more in agreement with Stump on his post (response 12) where he states:



"I think taxpayers are funding a two-week party for an elite group of athletes and the only people who are benefiting are those athletes (already a drain on the public purse)"



I happen to be lucky, errr, I mean unlucky, enough to know a few Olympic athletes, and let me tell you, they're such massive drains on the public purse. They mostly work 2 crappy jobs to work around their 20 hour a week workout/training habit. I'm sure it's an addiction, maybe we can make a new safe 'training/injection' site for them, those are totally cheap and worth every penny to society! From the money we save on not sending them to the Olympics we might as well buy 8 or 10 hotels to house them in because those jerk athletes basically just operate on a sense of entitlement. So what if the pittance that the gov't gives them isn't even enough for the equipment they use in the Olympic games, that's not OUR problem as a society.



In fact, I'm so strongly in agreement with Stump that I think the government shouldn't fund ANY of those stupid athletes. Like those numbskull disc throwing folks.





Look at how correct stump is, I did a little look into it, and it turns out we spend almost 90 MILLION dollars on sports... look at THIS quote:


"Overall, the Government of Canada provides $90 million in annual funding to support participation and excellence in sport from the playground to the podium."


And that's not even including all those pesky sport organizations like badminton Canada. Bunch of no good freeloaders! They take almost 700K of my hard earned tax dollars!



Stump and I are in total agreement think we should stop funding all of those things. In fact Stump is so totally right, anything that I don't directly benefit from, we should not pay for. The art gallery downtown? Kiss it goodbye. That Stanley park place? Sell it for lumber. Those UBC endowment lands? More lumber!



Stump is so totally right, too bad those 'elite athletes' are such a huge drain on the public purse... can you imagine how many 80 year olds hip replacements could be bought for that 50 million we provide them every year? Like... almost 500!



I know this last bit is going to come as a shock to you all, even Stump, but some of that money was even spent on promoting bicycling! If I'd ever heard of a bigger waste of money I can't even imagine what I'd do!

I think we'd all be better off ignoring Dugly's last 'witty jab'....


So, I'll go back to Stums point that loading all our eggs into the Skytrain basket is bad policy.


I'd agree with you except - even in your modular phone system you have a big pipe backbone, it just so happens that if one big pipe goes down you can usually reroute through other backbones, but that may mean your traffic goes to San Fransisco first. But in general the local traffic runs on the main trunks that are well serviced and maintained and rarely if ever go down.


The Skytrain fails in snow - in that same snow the busses are usually hamperred except, get this, on the main routes (ie. trunk lines) like Broadway and Granville. Any route with a hill on it is shut down for the day. Cars are usually, or should be, parked on those days as well....



Structurally a main trunk feeding multiple key traffic points (or those that will become such ie. planned Oakridge expansion project) that is fed by a well planned feeder system will maximize the utilization and speed of all parts of the system. That said, I'd hope that the planners at Translink have a plan for system shut downs on a main spur, ie. reroute busses to run the Cambie route along the same path that the Skytrain is using.


If I have been paying attention, and I think I have been, Translink is planning some major bus purchasaes as well as the RAV and NE Lines Skytrain - without the Olympic funding my guess is it would have been new busses or RAVline not both. And in that case the busses that would have been added would have been heavily allocated to Vancouver and thus the suburbs that need better bus service to really get butts out of cars would have been sacrificed again.

emd By emd

"Hmm, I though it was skewed by the fact that almost all Olympic Games end up costing far more than budgeted and deliver fewer benefits than promised."


Do you have some source material for this statement, Stumpy?

emd By emd

As a HUGE aside, this forum software sucks monkey balls.

emd By emd

I don't know what you are talking about Stumpy, the Olympics are only about the athletes!

http://tinyurl.com/25c3z4